Nanosatellite Market size will continue to gain traction in the next few years as developments in the aeronautics and satellite industries gather pace. Advances in the miniaturization of technologies across industries will also provide a substantial boost to the industry. Because of lower cost of production compared to large satellites, many small and medium size organizations are investing in nanosatellites for commercial use.
Nanosatellites refer to miniaturized artificial satellites weighing between 1-10 kgs. These satellites are usually launched at low altitudes and circle the earth in a polar orbit. They travel at high speeds and can be used for numerous purposes such as communications, land observations, and remote sensing. Their increasing use in these applications will provide significant momentum to the market demand over the forecast period.
In March 2021, NASA had launched new inexpensive variants of the nanosatellite under its CubeSat Launch Initiative (CLSI), which provides opportunities for smaller satellite payloads build by small non-profit organizations, high schools, and universities to fly on upcoming satellite launches. NASA provides these CubeSat developers a cost-effective pathway through innovative technology partnerships for conducting technology demonstrations and scientific investigations in space. Similar initiatives from other space industry giants could fuel the market growth.
Nanosatellites consist of different software, hardware components, and data processing devices that can be used for navigation, geographical mapping, and scientific research. The data obtained from nanosatellites can be processed and used for carrying out military and defense operations, earth observation, biological experiments, and in many other applications.
North America nanosatellite market size is expanding with increased use in commercial, civil, and defense applications for conducting low-cost space operations such as geolocation, communications, and signal monitoring. Ongoing technological advances such as integration of AI, IoT, and robotics in these satellites could transform the regional market outlook significantly up to 2027.
Lockheed Martin Corporation, Raytheon, Clyde Space, Inc., Innovative Solution in Space Group, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Planet Labs Inc., Terra Bella (formerly Skybox Imaging), Ruag Group, Spacequest Ltd, and GomSpace are among the prominent market players. In anticipation of a burgeoning industry demand in the coming years, these companies are undertaking new growth and expansion strategies to reinforce their presence in the global market. These include mergers, acquisitions, and strategic collaborations.
For instance, in December 2020, Raytheon Technologies had acquired Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT). The acquisition would allow Raytheon to expand its product line including nanosatellites, microsatellites, and other related technology. Citing another instance, GomSpace had inked a US$4.2 million contract with Unseen Labs in April 2021 for the design and delivery of nanosatellite platforms. Reportedly, the contract was a continuation of the already successful partnership between the two firms.
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent disruption have hampered mission deployments and slowed down new product deliveries for many large space manufacturers. While many of these companies have been able to cope, small and medium sized enterprises that constitute bulk of the nanosatellite industry seemed to have struggled.
However, the application of nanosatellites could grow as the world endures this unprecedented crisis. Satellites worldwide are providing a range of communications, broadcast, business continuity, remote imaging, and other services that are critical to public health and safety. Communication nanosatellites could help provide newly deployed field hospitals with vital services, while remote sensing and imaging satellites could serve as a vital tool for healthcare providers and the public to maintain stay at home and other social distancing initiatives.